Check out our holiday resources for navigating family differences during the holidays!

Conversation Topics

Most Popular Topics

To Vote or Not to Vote?

What is it about voting that inspires us to participate or turn away, feeling it’s not worth our effort? In this conversation, ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, we talk about what leads us to vote or not to.


The America We Want to Be

This topic is warm, welcoming and great to get to know how different people perceive America, their fears about it, and their hopes and dreams for it.


Status and Privilege

We joke about “keeping up with the Joneses” — but there’s real competition in our society for status and the accompanying privilege. How do we decide what we most value that bestows this status? From education to wealth to gender to race, let’s talk about what we have…and what we desire.

In the News

Guns and Responsibility

We all care about the victims of gun violence. We all love our children and our family. This is a conversation about our hopes and concerns in order to develop a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges surrounding responsible gun ownership.


Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure

This conversation is an invitation to look closely at public works and talk about the real value we receive . . . or don’t.


Democracy, Extremism, and Outliers

Given the societal impulse to label anyone outside of the mainstream “extreme,” how can we better distinguish and then support outliers who are advancing worthy causes?


Healthcare

Most people need healthcare at some time in their lives. And we all want healthcare in our country to be high quality and affordable. What might happen if nation wide we had everyone’s best ideas to work with?

 

 

Topics for

United or Divided

Political and philosophical differences are normal in a healthy and free society. No citizen should be expected to violate his or her own conscience or compromise sacred principles. But the common values we share, and our shared desire to solve common problems, should also enable us to make reasonable and principled compromises for our mutual well-being. In some instances, the Left and the Right fundamentally agree, yet the system somehow keeps us from working together.


Relationships First

How we treat each other is the difference between a great place to live and a bad place to live. We shape our world through relationships. Most people agree we want communities where all people have dignity and respect. Yet respectful interactions are often not what we see modeled in the media and in politics. And far too many people feel disrespected in their lives. What is our role in these dynamics?


Talking Politics

In this conversation, we explore our own experience about how we learned to talk about politics . . . or to avoid it. We share stories about what has happened around our political conversations and consider the impact this has on our relationships with friends and family. This isn’t a conversation about issues, but rather a discovery of how we decide who to relate to and at what depth based on our knowledge of political views.

 

Create your own topic

We have over seventy topics, but maybe you can’t find one that appeals to you? You can build your own topic with these easy guidelines. 

Tips to create your own :

Write an opening paragraph to frame the conversation. Make it welcoming to people who hold differing beliefs. (Our conversation materials are reviewed by a diverse group of partners with the intent to have the paragraph be clear and free of red flags that might put off readers you would like to welcome.) 
 
Keep the questions for round 1 the same. These questions help us get to acquainted with one another and discover our common humanity.
 
The “secret sauce” for Living Room Conversations are the open-ended questions in round 2. Here are some tips for developing your own great questions:
  • Work with your cohost to come up with several questions that satisfy you both.
  • Be curious. What would you ask if you didn’t have an opinion or position?
  • Examine what your own position is on the topic. Notice if you are framing questions that favor your viewpoint or disallow other viewpoints.
  • How did you develop your own perspective? What question would bring that out?
  • Beware of including trigger words in your questions, like climate change, anti-___, rights and control. 
Keep the questions for round 3 the same. They are designed to allow you and your guests to appreciate each other and declare any future action.
 
Do you want to provide links to any background materials for people who want to do a bit of research ahead of time? We often link to www.allsides.com materials to be transparent about bias.  

Need Support? Contact Us!

We'd love to support you in creating a new topic. Drop us a note and let us assist.

examples of Custom Conversations

Living Room Conversations has produced several custom conversations in partnership with civic and educational organizations. They are free to use; you can check them out below. 

Community Energy Conversations

Community Energy Conversations creates an engaging and worthwhile activity for any community organization or set of interested individuals to bring community members together and encourage action for positive change. Click here to explore.

Campus Conversations

Campus Conversations is an adaptation of Living Room Conversations specifically for college students. The conversation is taken one step further by converting the conversations students hold into action. Click here to explore.

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